I've always thought that 18th and 19th C. wrought iron belonged, with early lighting, in a separate category. Crafted largely of wrought and tinned iron and brass, the products of
early metalsmiths were designed for use but infused with personal style. They furnished
the kitchen, equipped the hearth, provided the light and made life in the colonies possible. Today these same pieces make life enjoyable as well. We'll bring you the best we can
find and we guarantee their authenticity.
Halsey Munson Americana
204 North Summit Avenue
Decatur, Illinois 62522
All rights reserved.
Signed and Dated Traveling Lantern
Signed and dated mid-19th C. traveling candle lantern in original asphaltum surface. Open, 3” square and 5” high. Folded, 3” x 2” x ¾”. Mica windows, swiveling candle socket, even a rack for extra candles and matches. An identical lantern now in the Ford Museum is shown on p. 193 of Antiques Treasury.
Intact 19th C. American Candle Box
19th C. American hanging candle box with hinges, hasp and catch all original. Wire-rolled edges on the lid, convex ends with crimped seams. 10 ½”L. The black paint is quite old, probably the 2nd half of the 19th C., but I don’t think it’s original. I think it was applied when rust spots appeared on the surface of the tinned sheet iron. The edges of the hanger tabs are wire-rolled as well, the punched holes have excellent wear, and unusual oval soldered braces support the angle of the tabs.
Signed 18th C. Box Wax Jack
One of the less common forms of 18th C. wax jack. Most are much more elaborate with spring-loaded jaws and embellished columns. This is a simple box wax jack that probably would have sat on a desk; a canister with a lid mounting the equivalent of a candle socket. The wax snake is contained in the base and pulled up through the candle socket as it burned low. Typically, these provided the wax to seal letters and other documents. For the sake of accuracy there is denting to the loop handle. 3½”H x 3”W.
The Best Bed Warmer I've Ever Seen
Extraordinary early to mid-18th C. bed warming pan in brass, copper and forged iron. The pan’s copper alloy lid is decorated in raised brass with a 5-spoke pinwheel, butterflies between the spokes, in the center a horse with one hoof raised, all enclosed within an embossed rope-patterned rim. The lid is densely pierced with circles, hearts and birds. Forged iron throat, smoke-blackened turned walnut handle, hammered brass pan apparently dovetailed then skimmed. The pan was repaired at the rim and at the hinge at some point with heavy copper and brass rivets. 48”L and 13” in diameter. Without even a close second, this is the best and probably also the earliest warming pan I’ve ever seen. Dutch or French, ca. 1700-1750. $1,450
Very Good 18th C.
Wrought Iron Rushlight
Late 18th to early 19th century wrought iron combination candle and rush holder. The jaws are counterweighted by a single candle socket. Tripod base with penny feet. Excellent form. American or English. 10” high x 6¼" wide (feet). For similar examples, see Iron at Winterthur by Fennimore, Fig. 77 and Antique Iron: Survey of American and English Forms by the Schiffers, Pg. 252.
Early 19th C. Chamberstick
Ca. 1825-1830 heavy brass chamberstick with accompanying witch’s hat douter. Seamed construction with wire-rolled rim and original lifter tab. Mellow oxidized surface, perfect condition. England. 5¾”H.
Polychrome Delft Candle Lantern
Rare 19th C. Delft candle lantern in underglaze polychrome decoration. Original glass in all three windows. Part of metal door latch missing. No breaks or cracks and very little fritting. Excellent condition overall. 8½” to the roof peak, 4½” square.
Rare American Lantern in Original Blue
Though typically sold as American, the vast majority of wooden barn lanterns of this general form are English or European. Very nice pieces, just not American. This one is. 11½” tall and 6” on a side. Access to the interior is via a sliding glass pane. The candle is secured by the threads of a screw driven up from beneath. There is significant charring in the top board and shrinkage cracks from heat which have been reinforced from within. The heavy wrought iron handle is almost certainly original. There are many barn lanterns. This one is for the collector who knows the difference.
American Painted Tinware Chamberstick
Exceedingly rare early 19th C. American painted tinware chamberstick in absolutely original condition. No breaks or inpainting. Berlin, CT. Ca. 1800-1853. In the entire four volumes of Martin and Tucker’s detailed study of American Painted Tinware, only one chamberstick is illustrated. This one is Ex-Austin and Jill Fine and their collection sticker is on the underside.
Early Brass Miniature Chamberstick
Rare and wonderful true miniature brass go-to-bed chamber stick. Sheet brass pan with flaring sides and rolled edges. Seamed brass candle tube braised to the pan with a bulbous brass collar. Probably a child’s chamber stick, because the candle tube and bobeche show signs of repeated use. Likely English, possibly Birmingham, ca. 1800-1820.
Pair of American Sheet Iron
One of the most sought but least often found examples of early lighting is a pair of authentic 19th C. American tinned sheet iron candle sconces. In my opinion, less than 10% of those on the market are genuine. And the percentage of honest mirrored wall sconces is probably half that. The pair above are exceptional not only because they are what they pretend to be, but also because of their distinctive design details, which separate them from the classic tinned iron candle sconces made in Guilford, CT by a father and son team of tinsmiths in the early 19th C. Although the reflecting back plates are similar to those in size (8¼”), the support arms are dramatically deeper to allow for the height of the unusually tall candle sockets with folded rims. The condition is excellent, although one sconce shows one spot of re-soldering. New England, ca. 1800-1840 $1,250
Rare Tole Painted 10”
Sheet Iron Candle Holder
Unusual, tall 10” tole painted sheet iron candle holder with a 6½” crimped base, a 3” crimped drip pan, under a candle socket with folded rim, and a gracefully scrolled sheet iron handle. This general form was typically used for an Ipswitch betty or an open pan lamp. I’m irresistibly drawn to the exceptional and this is the only example I can recall made to accept a wax candle. Inside the base, and much worn from repeated cleanings, a pair of Berlin, CT-style green and salmon painted flower heads are still visible, encircled by the same salmon teardrop brush strokes that rim the drip pan above. Excellent condition with a minor perforation rust on the base. CT, ca. 1800-1850.
Possible American Wrought Iron
Excellent pair of 18th C. wrought iron pipe or ember tongs. American or English, but given their weight and style of construction, quite likely American. Made by a skilled smith, the details are subtle and simple, but elegant. The tapering arms have precisely matching twistwork passages and end in leaf-shaped jaws with in-rolled tips to better grip the glowing coal on its way to the pipe. Boxed hinge with internal pivot, tamper stud and rattail hanger hook. 16½”L. A small group of similar pipe tongs were sold when the Sorber collection of early American iron went to auction in 2005.